Thursday, April 3, 2008

There's No Free Sex In Vegas

The biggest misconception about Las Vegas is that a person needs to spend a lot of money to have fun. Movies, such as Swingers, promote the misconception. In that movie Trent and Mikey take a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas overnight. During the car ride, they discuss casino management giving them free breakfasts, getting hotel upgrades, and winning lots of money. It does not take a lot of money to have a good time in Vegas. There are cheaper hotels, amazing clubs, penny slots, $5 tables, and Chipotle.

Las Vegas provides slot machines, roulette wheels, blackjack tables, and sports books. We like to gamble. According to, people spent more than $2.5 billion on Powerball tickets during the 2007 fiscal year. The website lists odds. At $1 a ticket, the odds of winning the multi-million dollar grand prize are 1 in 146,107,962. The Vegas casinos are our adult playgrounds to lose money in the rare hopes of grabbing the grand prize.

Las Vegas casinos illuminate the streets with pinks, blues, reds, golds, and greens. We like lights. When I was a child, I would ride in a car with my family and look at Christmas lights. The multi-colored lights and glowing lawn decorations fascinated me. I would be bored if my parents drove me to look at houses any other season, but houses with lights were interesting. The Vegas casinos are our year-long Christmas lights adventure.

Las Vegas is a city where everyone is the best, #1, or world’s greatest. We like to be the best. The Mirage advertises “Entertainer of the Year” Danny Gans. Billboards boast Harrah’s Rita Rudner as the “#1 Comedian in Vegas.” However, another billboard claims Carrot Top as the “Comedian of the Year.” You’re the best. I’m the best. Carrot Top is the best.

We go to Las Vegas because we get to gamble, look at lights, and feel great. In addition, I go to Vegas for the small moments, the jokes, and the stories. We’re a five hour car ride away or a $300 roundtrip plane ticket away from the Vegas experience.
* * *
I took a three day, Saturday through Monday, road trip to Vegas from Tempe with four friends. Cyrus took over the driving duties after a dinner stop in Wickenburg. Eddie, Crystal, and Mike were asleep in the back. I sat in the passenger seat. We’re all early 20s nearing the end of our college days. Eddie and I graduate this semester, and Crystal will receive her associate’s degree. Mike graduated last year, and Cyrus will graduate in one year.

“Remember that time when Eddie went up to those three girls and asked if they liked well tequila shots?” I asked during the car ride. Well tequila is cheap tequila that can make a person vomit instantly.

Cyrus laughed.

“I mean, come on. That’s just ridiculous. So they tell him, ‘no’ and he goes up to the bartender and orders five well tequila shots. So we go back to the girls, and they already left. And now we have to drink five shots between us. I’m feeling sick and Eddie passed out in the taxi cab,” I said.

“We get pretty ridiculous,” he said.

“You never get ridiculous. Your cheeks just turn red and you walk around with a big smile,” I said.

“What about you? What about the time you got kicked out of the karaoke bar?” Cyrus asked.

“Oh my god. That was lame. That was when Mike and I signed up to sing a Sublime song. We had thirty minutes to kill so I was listening to some of the singers. And this one girl I knew was singing. I jokingly booed her. After the song, I talked to her. We had a good laugh. So Mike and I go around to the other rooms trying to promote ourselves and get people into the karaoke room to listen to us. We probably recruited about ten people. At this point, I’m talking to Maddux and I notice a woman, who worked there, points me out to a security guard. The security guard comes up to me and said, ‘you’re getting kicked out for booing singers.’ So I’m like, ‘I jokingly booed a friend of mine.’ And as I was walking out, I heard my name being called for karaoke.”

At this point, we entered Kingman, the last city before we cross the border to Nevada.

“We’re on empty, should we fill up?” Cyrus asked.

“No, we’re good,” I said.

An hour later, the gas-light was blinking, and we still had not crossed the border.

“This is not good,” I said.

“What?” Crystal said.

“We’re kinda out of gas. It’s below E. But don’t worry, if we run out, you can help push the car across the border,” I said.

“I’m not pushin this car,” she said.

“It’s kind of like that Seinfeld episode where Kramer is test driving a car, and they see how far they can go before it runs out of gas,” Cyrus said.

“Hopefully we have better results,” I said.

“I’ll put the car in neutral,” Cyrus said.

I looked at Cyrus. “Vegas baby, Vegas.”

“Vegas baby, Vegas!” Cyrus shouted back.

Driving in neutral worked every time we drove downhill, but we had to accelerate uphill. We made it to the border and drove through the Hoover Dam. We drove in neutral and under ten miles an hour in the traffic. We rocked back and forth to give the car momentum on turns. Once we passed the Hoover Dam, we saw a gas station to the left. We filled-up and arrived on the Strip a half hour later.
* * *
Cyrus, Eddie, Mike, and I walked on the Strip Saturday night. Crystal met up with another friend. As we walked, a short man, who dressed like a magician, approached us with a binder in his hand.

“What are you guys looking to do tonight?” he asked.

“We’re thinking of going to Tao,” Mike said.

He opened his binder. “I’ve got some passes to every club here, but it’s hard for guys to get into Tao.”

“What do you got?” Mike asked.

“Everything. I run a promotion company. What are you looking for?” he asked.

“What’s the best club in Vegas?” Mike asked.

“You gotta go to The Palms. Guaranteed pussy. I can hook you up with some passes. How many do you need?” he asked.

“Four here. Plus Ryan has some other friends. We need like six or so,” Mike said.

“Okay, I’ll get you passes to Moon, Playboy Club, and Rain. They’re all at The Palms,” he said.

He gave Mike six passes to each. “You know, I work by tips.”

Mike gave him a fifty-dollar bill. I thought Mike gave him a twenty, so I gave the guy another twenty.

“Thanks guy. And if you need anything else, maybe some party favors later in the night, here’s my card,” he said.
He gave us a business card: Hells Canyon Las Vegas Entertainment. Danny Vegas.
* * *
We purchased Goldschlager at the Vons supermarket just off the strip. We poured the alcohol into five empty water bottles to drink on our way to the clubs. We took two taxis to The Palms.

The Palms is located off the Strip and features four clubs: Ghostbar, Rain, Playboy Club, and Moon. A $40 cover gains access to both Playboy Club and Moon. Rain charges a $30 cover and Ghostbar charges $30 on the weekends.

In the taxi I joked about prostitution. “Why would anyone pay for sex?”

“It’s stupid,” Cyrus said.

“Yeah, no it’s definitely stupid. It’s not something you can joke about with your friends,” I said.

The taxi driver interrupted and gave me a business card and said, “There’s no free sex in Vegas.”

We arrived at The Palms at 8:30. We did not wait to get into the Playboy Club. I wore black slim-fitting pants, black Aldo square-toed dress shoes, and a white with vertical purple stripes button-up dress shirt. Mike, Eddie, and Cyrus also wore dress shirts with pants and dress shoes. Crystal wore a black blouse with dress pants and heels. Upscale attire is required. Dress shoes are essential for getting into clubs. Most men dressed like us though one guy wore a gold glittered white suit and purple lens pimp glasses. Most women wore dresses and heels or skirts with a top and heels.

Playboy Club is a chill place to get a couple drinks and relax before hitting the dance floor at Moon. Playboy Club and Moon are tied together. We ordered two rounds of Vodka Red Bulls and played the dollar slots. The waitresses, bartenders, and dealers don playboy bunny attire. There isn’t much room to sit and no floor to dance. Gambling machines and high stakes blackjack tables fill most of the area.

We stayed there until 10:30 p.m. when the bouncers would allow us to move up the escalator to Moon. Moon has a big dance floor with DJ’s playing hip-hop, techno, and rock remixes. The blue lighting creates a serene atmosphere, much to the likeness of the serene connotation of a moon. We ordered several rounds of drinks at Moon. We danced for a while, but the dance floor transformed into a rush hour human traffic jam by midnight and our dance moves turned motionless. We wiggled our way through the crowded floor and moved outside to the patio. The patio features a beautiful view of the Strip with the reds, yellows, blues, greens, and golds glowing from the midnight background, which made for a beautiful background for the pictures we took that night.

We went to Rain at 1:30 a.m. Rain opens at 11:00 p.m., and it is located on another side of the casino. Rain features a center, elevated dance floor. The DJ plays hip-hop, retro, and remixes. A giant blowtorch object hangs from the ceiling and above the dance floor. The dance floor was less crowded at Rain, so we separated and danced with random women. Throughout the night, the blowtorch shoots up giant flames. This creates a red glow around the area and makes the floor really hot.

I had a nice buzz going, but not to the point where I was bumping knees on the dance floor. My steps followed the beat to the floor and not to the foot of the girls. Cyrus and I were dancing with Crystal and her friend Edna. Edna was already in Vegas, and she had a room at the MGM. She allowed us to stay for free for the night. Mike and Eddie were elsewhere.

I saw two guys sandwich a girl, so I sarcastically gave them a high five. They took my gesture as an invitation to hit on Crystal and Edna. Crystal and Edna shunned their feeble attempts, and they stepped off the stage.

I saw a towering lanky individual stare at Crystal. I went over to him to see his motivation. “Hey, this is fun, right?”
He looked at me, and then he looked back at Crystal.

I sarcastically offered him a high five, but he ignored me. “Well, since you won’t give me a high five, then you can’t dance with Crystal.”

I danced with them for a while, but the lack of vodka red bull mixed with the sweaty hot blowtorch flames tired me out. Those effects did not slow down the next man to hit on Crystal and Edna. This man’s wack dance move involved flailing arms and running in place. I understand people watching YouTube videos for dance ideas, but it’s not cool ripping off moves from a Richard Simmons workout tape.

Crystal, Edna, Cyrus, and I left the dance floor to check out the rest of the club. Around the center dance floor is plenty of space to dance or talk. We went upstairs to the VIP areas. Within three minutes, a bouncer came up to us and told us we had to leave so we went up more stairs to a more exclusive VIP area.

This area had actual rooms enclosed from a common area. Cyrus and I met a couple from Texas.

“Are you guys having a good time?” I asked.

“Yeah, this place is awesome,” the man said.

“Well, hi, I’m Ryan, and this is my friend Cyrus,” I said.

“I’m blubla, and this is duhdah,” he said.

“I’m sorry this music is loud, what was it again?” I asked.

“I’m glegla, and this is subsub,” he said.

“Okay. So where are you guys staying at?” I asked.

“Imperial Palace,” he said.

“Oh, cool,” I said. I left to talk to Crystal and Edna. Cyrus remained to talk with the couple. I sat down at a couch next to Edna. Within three minutes, a bouncer came up to us and told us that we were not allowed to sit.

We left Rain at 3:00 a.m. and waited in line for a taxi back to MGM. While in line, the Texas couple spotted us.

“Hey, it was cool meeting you guys,” he said.

“Yeah, definitely. Where are you guys going?” I asked.

“Back to Imperial Palace. How did you guys manage to get VIP rooms?” he asked.

“What? Umm, Cyrus is a broadcast major. He knows a lot of broadcasters that hooked him up,” I said.

“Oh, well, have a good night, guys,” he said.

I turned to Cyrus and smirked. “VIP rooms at Imperial Palace?”

“Yeah, I was pretty drunk. I don’t know what I was saying,” Cyrus said.
* * *
The next night we purchased Jagermeister at Vons and drank five rounds of shots within an hour in our hotel room at the Imperial Palace. After we drank our shots, we walked to Tryst. On our way to Tryst, we stopped at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon for dollar frozen margaritas. We each ordered two strawberry margaritas and drank them on the Strip. During the walk, we ran into two girls, who were also drinking frozen margaritas.

“Did you guys get those at Bill’s?” one of the girls asked.

“Yeah, of course…”

“Oh, um, I’m Ryan. This is Cyrus, Eddie, Mike, and Crystal,” I said.

“I’m Sandra, and this is Christiana,” Sandra said. “Where are you guys going?”

“We want to go to Tryst, but we don’t have free passes,” I said.

“We’re staying at the Wynn, and we have a table and some free passes,” she said.

“Really, think we can have them?” I asked.

“Yeah, just come up to the room with us. I’m going to get changed, and then we’ll go together,” she said.

We went to the room with them. The Wynn can cost up to $600 a night on the weekend; however, the Wynn offers free passes to their nightclub, Tryst, and the hotel has a European pool for nude sunbathing.

Sandra changed into khaki booty shorts and a long-sleeved white blouse. A guy came in for Christiana. Christiana and the guy stayed in the room, and we all went down to Tryst together.

On the way to Tryst, Sandra complained about cellulite.

“These shorts reveal my cellulite. Can you see my cellulite?” she asked.

I looked at her legs. I could not see cellulite with my distorted vision. “No, I don’t see anything. You’re good.”

“No, look. I have cellulite,” she said.

I looked again. “I don’t see anything.”

“Really, I have a lot of cellulite,” she said.

I stared at her legs for five minutes. I tried to focus. I wanted clear vision for five seconds so I can see possible cellulite. “I think you’re good.”

“I should have worn jeans,” she said.

We entered Tryst. Tryst opens at 10:00 p.m. Men pay $30 and women pay $20 cover. The DJ plays top 40, hip-hop, and remixes. The main area is a big dance floor with VIP tables surrounding the floor. VIP accommodations can be arranged for the outside patio where tables are located to the sides.

Cyrus and I separated from the group. A guy approached us. "How you all doing tonight?"

"Good. We're all going to get laid tonight," I sarcastically said.

"I can help you get some girls," he said.

"I don't need your help. I can get my own girls," I said.

"Well, hey I’m Jo Jo,” he said.

“Ryan. Hi,” I said.

“I got an eight-ball of coke for you all for two-hundred dollars," he said.

"That's freaking expensive,” I said in uncertainty.

Cyrus and I walked away and outside to the patio area. The patio has VIP tables adorned with cushioned wicker furniture on one side. The main attraction outside is a 94-foot waterfall. Water slides down rocks and between trees and the background lighting creates a great background image for pictures. Unfortunately, we used up all our pictures at Moon.

Fifteen minutes later, Jo Jo spotted us outside. "Hey, I'm about to take off. Are you sure you guys are good?"

"Yeah, I was wondering if you had a business card just in case I want something later," I sarcastically said.

“Nah man, I don’t have business cards. I can’t do that thing, ya know, man,” he said.

“Oh, it’s cool. I guess I’m out of luck,” I said.

Cyrus and I left Tryst ten minutes later to gamble at O’Shea’s casino. Everyone else stayed at Tryst. O’Shea’s is a small casino with slot machines and craps, blackjack, and poker tables. The casino also features beer pong tables. A challenging team purchases a pitcher and can play the previous winners in beer pong. We took a taxi and paid $15 for the ride.

At O’Shea’s, I exchanged $20 at the $10 minimum craps table for four $5 chips. A guy was in mid roll and needed to hit a six on the dice to pay-out. I put two chips behind the pass line. The next roll, he hit a six, and I won $12. I took my chips, and Cyrus and I went to the single deck $10 minimum blackjack table.

Cyrus exchanged $50 for chips. I sat next to Cyrus and played with my six chips. A waitress came by the table, and I pretended that I was playing blackjack so I could get a free drink.

“What would you like to drink?” she asked.

“I’ll take a vodka red bull,” Cyrus said.

“Make that two,” I said flicking the chips on the table.

Ten minutes later, she came back with two vodka red bulls. Cyrus and I tipped her $2 each. Cyrus was killing the dealer at the table. Every hit was working. The waitress came by with two more vodka red bulls. We drank the vodka red bulls. Cyrus was up $90. He placed $30 on one hand. He lost.

“Let’s go back,” he said.

“Okay. Let’s cash out first,” I said.

Cyrus cashed out with a $60 profit. I cashed out $20 of my $30 chips. “One more roll,” I said.

I went to the craps table and placed $10 on the pass line. The guy rolled a five. The next roll he rolled a seven and crapped out. I lost the $10. I took out the $20 I just received and placed it on the table to exchange for chips. I put $10 on the pass line. The next guy rolled an eight.

“Okay, that’s good,” I said. I placed $10 behind the pass line. The guy rolled a seven and crapped out. I lost the $20.

“Okay, let’s go back,” I said.
* * *
I woke up Monday morning from our room at the Imperial Palace. Eddie sprawled out shirtless and in his boxers across the left side of the bed. Cyrus was already awake, and Mike slept over on the next bed. Crystal was packing her clothes into her suitcase.

The Imperial Palace hotel is the Motel 8 of Las Vegas. A room for two people on the weekend ranges from $120 to $150. We paid $90 for a Sunday night stay. The hotel features a big swimming pool, hot tub, casino, restaurants, and a nightclub across the parkway.

“What happened last night?” I asked.

“You pretty much threw away thirty dollars,” Cyrus said.

“Yeah, I remember. That was stupid,” I said.

“We walked back here and you passed out,” he said.

“What happened with Mike last night?” I asked.

Cyrus laughed. “He was up eighty dollars at the black jack slot machine, and he goes to cash out. But he accidentally pressed max bet. He lost it all, so he didn’t have money for a taxi and walked back to the hotel.”

“Why is Eddie almost naked?” I asked.

Cyrus laughed. “I called Eddie after I got back here to see where he was at. And he gives his phone to some girl he’s dancing with. So I’m talking to her, and she says, ‘I’m dancing with naughty Eddie,’” Cyrus said.

“Naughty Eddie?” I said.

“Yeah. Fifteen minutes later, he tells me to go outside to meet him by the taxis. I see him roll up with a big smile on his face counting one dollar bills to give to the cab driver like he’s some sort of rock star or something,” Cyrus said.
* * *
We checked out of the Imperial Palace the next morning. Cyrus drove to Wickiup, AZ, and I took over after that.

“Remember when that guy, Jo Jo, came up to us and asked if we wanted to buy an eight-ball of coke?” I asked.
Cyrus laughed.

“I mean, did he actually think we would be interested?” I said. “Naughty Eddie."

Cyrus laughed.

"Hey, what?" Eddie asked.

"Nothing, man," I said.

“How much gas do you have?” Cyrus asked.

“Don’t worry, we’re fine,” I said.

Cyrus looked at me. “Half a tank,” I said. “We’re good. We’ll make it to Wickenburg.”
* * *
Drinks at the clubs will cost between $13 and $20. I paid $13 for a vodka red bull at Moon, and I paid $15 for a vodka red bull at Tryst. For cheap drinks, we used other methods than buying drinks at the clubs. Instead of buying five drinks at the clubs, we bought one or two drinks. Waitresses at the casinos serve free drinks, anything, to gamblers. We bought bottles of Jagermeister and Goldschlagger to drink at the hotel and on the streets to start a buzz. Also, some casinos have drink specials at their bars. Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon serves dollar margaritas.

Another trick to save money is to talk to people. Everyone going to Vegas is going to have a good time and meet people for a night or weekend. We struck up conversation with two girls who had free passes to Tryst. Use conversation as an advantage to get things you want.

Since Vegas is a four and a half hour drive from Phoenix, I had other friends going for the weekend. Crystal had a friend staying the weekend, and Crystal reached out to her and got us a free night at MGM.

Most casinos feature all-you-can-eat buffets. The Bellagio has a $30 buffet filled with elaborate dishes, such as beef Wellington, prime rib, Alaskan snow crab, sushi, and other choices. There are other options. The Strip has a Panda Express, a Chipotle, a Fatburger, and other cheaper alternatives. A $6 vegetarian burrito at Chipotle fills my stomach just the same as a $30 buffet.

My Vegas bill:

Gas: $100 or $20 per person

One night at MGM: $0

One at Imperial Palace hotel: $100 or $20 per person

Dinner: $30 each

Bottle of Goldschlager: $25 or $5 per person

Bottle of Jagermeister: $20 or $4 per person

Danny Vegas: $70 or $20 for me

Tryst passes: $0

Taxi rides: $70 or $14 per person

Drinks at Playboy Club: $40

Drinks at Moon: $135

Drinks at Rain: $0

Drinks at Tryst: $20

Won $30 from gambling.

Two nights in Vegas: $278

Vegas runs commercials with the slogan, “Whatever happens here, stays here.” From my experience, Vegas is not about getting laid, winning money, or doing drugs. I spent less than $300 for a high-roller three-day weekend in Vegas, and I feel like the best.

No comments: